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A Night at the Plaza Athénée, Paris

As the car turns onto avenue Montaigne, I immediately notice the perfectly tree-lined street with festive Christmas lights and ornaments. I pass by glamorous stores such as Gucci, Prada and Dior and fabulous restaurants where people sit in the cold winter sun with their fur coats and hats sipping on French champagne at 1 pm in the afternoon. This street symbolises the spirit of Paris. As I pull up in my chauffeured vehicle, I see in the distance an outline of the legendary Eiffel Tower not too far from where I am.

As the car door is opened by a distinguished young gentleman dressed in a beautifully tailored suit, his words are “Bonjour Madame, welcome to The Plaza Athénée”.

As I step out into the crisp icy air, I receive my first visual of the immaculacy that is the Plaza. This historic luxury hotel is the epitome of palace distinction that is perfectly positioned near the Eiffel tower and River Seine and the Champs-Elysees only a block away. This hotel is referred to as ‘The Haute Couture address in Paris” and the building itself looks like a fashionable historic piece of artwork painted in green ivy and red roses.

The door to this spectacular palace is opened by another smartly dressed host with a top hat and I am greeted with a charming smile – I feel a sense of “celebrity” and importance as I walk through. The foyer ceiling is draped in glistening chandeliers with massive mirror doors centering the exit to the foyer. Everything is immaculate and elegant – from the beautiful white marble floors to the tiniest intricate detail of the design of the light fixtures on the walls.

Immediately a young French hostess checks me into the hotel and I’m given a tour. She walks me through the colossal mirror doors and I notice a sort of glitzy lounge where stylish people sit having their tea and cake. This is the “Les patisseries de Christophe Michalak” that it is said to be the finest patisserie in all of Paris. I take a glance outside the window – there is a gorgeous miniature ice-skate rink in the courtyard and it gives me the impression that this hotel is straight out of a fairytale.

The corridors are lined with framed mirrors, white walls and exquisite carpets cover the floor. The hostess shows me to suite number 204, named “The Eiffel Tower suite”. As she unlocks the double doors, I enter what could only be a room fit for a Royal – I am in awe. There is a spectacular crystal chandelier hanging from the high ceiling in the lounge of the suite, gorgeously crafted sofas with a large glass coffee table that centers the room. Windows, that stretch from ceiling to floor, surrounding the entire room, with beautiful soft flowing crème curtains – the décor in this room is reminiscent of what one would find in a vintage Victorian palace – a picture-perfect suite. The lounge leads out into the bedroom, with a king-size bed draped in luxurious bed covers which include a walk-in cupboard and a stylish lounger covered in delicate white and beige material. Although this interior seems to have been taken straight out of a king’s castle in an era before my time – every bit of technology is state of the art in this room. From the enormous slim flat screen, SMART TV with HD picture, a tablet that controls most operations in the room and a light dimming system that can change the ambiance of the room at the touch of a button. The bathroom is spacious and inevitably luxurious – chic marble walls and mirrors, fine accents and textures create an atmosphere of tranquil sophistication.

 

My doorbell rings and fresh flowers are brought into my room, instantly brightening the room in a swirl of colour. The Plaza Athénée certainly goes above and beyond to make sure your stay at their palace is not only aesthetically pleasing but inter alia a sense of complete cleanliness and relaxation.

I have a dinner scheduled for 8:30 pm, by personal invitation of Food and Beverage manager, Louis-Gabriel Fichet, at the Famous Alain Ducasse at The Plaza Athénée. Alain Ducasse is a renowned culinary genius that I’ve only ever read about and dreamt about experiencing. He follows a “naturalist” approach in his restaurant using a trilogy of fish, vegetables and cereal. Frequented by celebrities and other A-Listers and Parisian high society, this restaurant has a dress code. I decide on a beautiful white off the shoulder bodysuit paired with a flowing gray skirt, stockings, and black Louis Vuitton heels. I feel confident as the manager arrives at my door and shows me the way to the culinary experience of my dreams. Before I head to the restaurant I take a drink at the contemporary “Le Bar”, designed by Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku. The ceiling is draped in a deep sea blue material creating a wave-like surface and the lighting which is strategically positioned to reflect off different areas in the material giving the room a romantic depth and ambiance. There is a striking sculpted resin bar in the corner of the room, which immediately draws in my attention. I take a seat at one of the high chairs and order one of their deliciously imaginative cocktails.

As I anticipate a delectable feast I see only fit that I get in a workout at the Dior Spa Institute located on the lowest level of the hotel. The chic spa is synonymous with the relationship between Christian Dior himself and the Plaza Athénée. I take the opulent carpeted steps down into this exclusive spa and it’s as if I were walking into a stunningly crafted Dior handbag, clean white walls, crystal accents and a magnificent round blue roman bath centres the room and on the bottom of the bath – a detailed mosaic of the Christian Dior emblem catch my eye. I proceed to the fitness area where I complete a quick 5-kilometer run to entice my appetite to indulge.

The manager ushers me into the restaurant. I am stunned by what I see – I stand beneath 10 000 crystals. The beauty of this immaculacy almost cannot be put into words. Soft greyish white carpets with round reflective sofas exemplify the opulence of this room.  I am greeted by the head executive chef who kindly offers me a tour of the kitchen, I of course accept. The Kitchen is spotless, this is my first behind the scenes experience of the environment in which all these extraordinary dishes are created. He shows me a room just off the kitchen, which is referred to as the chefs table. You need to be exclusively invited to dine here, and surely this would be a dream come true for anyone who truly appreciates the culinary arts.

I am placed at the center table and I feel all eyes are on me as I take my seat. Within seconds, I am introduced to my ‘head waiter”, a handsome young gentleman. He then insists that I try a vintage wine from a magnificent crystal bottle and he expresses to me that only special guests get to taste this lavish wine. I am taken through a 3-course meal, included with an amuse-bouche in-between. Delicious langoustines and caviar for starters, for the main an impeccably prepared cereal crusted cod and ended off with delightful hand-made dark chocolate with cereal bits. All the dishes were wonderfully inventive, surprising and delectable. A culinary adventure that utterly awakens the taste buds to new heights.

To stay at the Plaza Athénée really grants a person the privilege of feeling what true luxury is. This immaculate property is the pinnacle of achievement in excellence and elegance and is deserving of its immaculate reputation in the hotel industry. The Plaza Athénée is an experience, it goes beyond the aesthetic, luxury facilities and exceptional services it has to offer – the meticulous workmanship, the sumptuous atmosphere, and the discerning good taste raises people’s expectations and bring dreams to life – it’s a full experience that’s more than the sum of its parts – pure indulgence.

Guest Derryn Lester

Book Now via reservations.hpa@dorchestercollection.com or check out their website Here

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A tropical Bali experience at the RIMBA Jimbaran Bali

This breath-taking property overlooks the Jimbaran Bay and gives every guest a true Balinese experience.

Arriving at the RIMBA Jimbaran Bali was like stepping into a dreamy tropical fairy tale. Adorned with the most beautiful flower necklace and delicious welcome drink

“We were immediately refreshed, relaxed and energized.”

Our stay was met with exceptionally friendly, warm and attentive staff, which provided a great sense of care and hospitality that Bali has become famous for.  Imagine our delight at our towels being magically transformed into gorgeous animated jungle animals… a touch of humour is always good for the soul!

If the luxurious and spacious rooms were not enough… we were totally captivated by the heavenly views stretched out from our honeymoon abode. Forested oceanfront and sunset horizons set the tone for a surreal travel experience.

“A culinary gold mine”

We were spoilt for choice by collection of unique on-site restaurants… seventeen to be exact! Our favourite was the Rock Bar, superbly situated on the rocks serving up the freshest seafood and cocktails. The immaculate beach was rivalled by eleven sparkling swimming pools dotted around the resort, but we preferred the sand between our toes for this romantic time away.

The resort has a secluded white sand beach, 11 swimming pools, an 18-hole putting course and an award-winning spa, Thermes Marins Bali. It offers a truly relaxing experience for anyone who wants to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of life.

“A magnificent resort, a paradise within paradise.”

The RIMBA Jimbaran Bali is uniquely positioned inside the Ayana Resort and Spa

The Breath taking views across Jimbaran Bay guarantee a holiday experience of a lifetime.

Guest : Jana Stoman (World Luxury Hotel Awards Representative)

www.rimbajimbaran.com.  Reservations can be made through the hotel at booking@rimbajimbaran.com.

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What Makes Armani Hotel Dubai The World’s Most Luxurious Hotel?

What does it take to become the world’s most luxurious hotel?

Does it involve outrageous amenities such as in-room 24 karat gold iPads, private jet and butler services, or even pet psychics for your pooches?

According to Anton Perold, Managing Director of the World Luxury Hotel Awards, true luxury is defined by “a team of highly dedicated staff willing to go the extra mile and stop at nothing to ensure that no request goes unanswered,” he said. But since luxury can mean different things to different people, every year The World Luxury Hotel Awards takes on a new focus to select the new winner.

Armani Amal Terrace (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai) Armani Amal Terrace (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

For 2016, the ten-year organization shifts the focus on supreme style and unique elegance, and named Armani Hotel Dubai the winner.

Opened since 2010, the ten-story hotel with 160 rooms and suites is the first hotel by fashion designer Giorgio Armani. Bearing all the Armani signature details in the carefully curated space with Eramose stone floors, zebrawood panels, and custom-made furnishings, it’s no surprise that everything here is tastefully designed.

One of only two hotels (the other one is in Milan) launched by the legendary designer, much of Armani Hotel Dubai’s appeal is also defined by its location. Situated at Burj Khalifa—world’s tallest tower—in Downtown Dubai, the world’s most luxurious hotel boasts stunning views of the city, convenient access to the city’s best shops, restaurants and cultural attractions, plus a dedicated entrance to the tower.

Burj Khalifa (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)Burj Khalifa (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

With all the amenities one would normally expect—Award-winning restaurants, lounge, deluxe spa and various Armani goods, what really sets this hotel apart is the “warm, Italian-style service” noted by Mark Kirby—General Manager of Armani Hotel Dubai.

Armani Ristorante (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)Armani Ristorante (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

For instance, each guest is assigned a personal Lifestyle Manager who handles everything from arranging childcare to landing difficult bookings of the hottest restaurants and events out there. The idea of it is to provide guests with a “‘home-away-from-home experience,” said Kirby.

(Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)(Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

As a former guest of the Armani Hotel, Milton Pedraza—CEO of the Luxury Institute—believes that one of the most remarkable strengths of Armani is his ability in creating an understated style of luxury that’s completely serene. “It’s a paradoxical concept few could pull off. And when done properly (which Armani certainly has), it makes guests feel pampered and peaceful at the same time,” he noted.

All the books in this study at the Armani Dubai Suite are personally selected by the designer himself. (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

All the books in this study at the Armani Dubai Suite are personally selected by the designer himself. (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

This ability not only reflects on the fashion legend’s renowned aesthetics, but also his personality and values. According to the luxury expert, there’s something about the Armani Hotel experience that made him feel special. “The staff at his hotels are very well-selected and well-trained. They make you feel welcome in a way that seems more genuine and relatable than other hotels,” he added.

Walk-in closet at the Armani Dubai Suite (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

Walk-in closet at the Armani Dubai Suite (Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

“Fact is, people don’t want to be treated like royals anymore,” Pedraza said.

What this award points to—when it comes to luxury hotel trends in 2017—are well-designed spaces that aren’t excessively staged or opulent. As the world becomes more globalized, successful hotels are definitely angling for more local experiences, where guests could get intimate knowledge of each place.

(Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)(Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

Yet, for frequent travelers, don’t be surprised to find your favorite snacks or drinks from your home countries. “As hotels want to ease your transition from one place to another both physically and emotionally,” noted Pedraza, “2017’s hotel experience will focus equally on satisfying your curiosity of a new place as it is on fighting home sickness.”

(Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)(Photo credit: Armani Hotel Dubai)

Writer Credit

I cover food, luxury, and occasionally tennis (when Nadal is playing).

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Whalesong & Hydro – Thatched jewel on the Southern African coastline

The World Luxury Hotel Awards had a wonderful opportunity in interviewing and experiencing Whalesong & Hydro, an understated gem perched on a hill in the world famous Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. Majestic views overlooking the Indian Ocean, surrounding mountains and lagoon provide a luxurious nest in which guests from all over the world come to find rest, rejuvenation and explore this beautiful part of Southern Africa.

Warmly welcomed and lovingly managed by Manuela Teuscher, we were introduced to her hospitality style and received some insight on what makes her property so unique. Manuela shares with us her secret to success in keeping guest satisfaction levels high and attracting new and repeat guests, which ultimately lies in their staff selections. This cannot be emphasized enough as being the key to a thriving hospitality destination. Her focus is on recruiting staff that are passionate about this industry, as opposed to being motivated by earnings, and this certainly seems to be a winning approach.

Excellence is what we experienced – money could not have bought the level of service and heart that was infused into every minute detail of our stay. Luggage was carefully transferred to our first story cottage which had breathtaking views, we dined at the on-site @Whale Restaurant and enjoyed impeccable service and an outstanding meal. Upon return to our luxurious abode, we were surprised by a room laden with delicate rose petals and lit candles in honour and celebration of our honeymoon. Understanding guests needs and exceeding expectations is all true of the Whalesong and Hydro.

This chic African inspired thatched property combines lush landscaped gardens teeming with prolific birdlife – a major attraction for birding and outdoor enthusiasts. In addition to its natural features, it offers a magnificent spa, salon, bar and pool. The hotel is also just minutes away from the town center which has top restaurants and boutique shopping outlets. Pristine beaches, golf courses, the Tsitsikamma National Park, the world’s highest bungee and a diverse range of attractions including whale watching, dolphin encounters and diving are on your doorstep.

If personalized service, spectacular scenery and gracious hospitality are important to you, make sure you put the Whalesong and Hydro on your travel itinerary.

To Book Contact

reservations@legendlodges.co.za
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Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa – Romantic Getaway

This luxury hotel Is situated on a cliff side, overlooking the Indian ocean in a nature reserve, featuring ten exquisitely decorated rooms. The décor can be described as pure elegance. All suites have underfloor heating, flat screen TV, DVD player, in room safe, gowns, slippers and a fully stocked bar with drinks and snacks.

The restaurant and spa are a must in this grand hotel. One can enjoy cocktails on the sun deck, a tantalising dinner or a visit to the fantastic spa with its array of treatments. The hotel also features a library which includes a big screen tv and many board games for the whole family.

Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa

“We felt Honoured to have stayed in a hotel that has hosted so many distinguished guests, such as Nelson Mandela and Richard Branson.”

The Team Told us about all the local activities in Plettenberg bay as well as helped us book. For breakfast excite your palate, one can enjoy a lovely buffet of fresh fruit, cheeses and freshly baked pastries, as well as many hot breakfast dishes to choose from.

For breakfast, we had an exquisite selection of tantalising food with a selection of fresh fruit, cheeses and freshly baked pastries, as well as many hot breakfast dishes to choose from which changed on a daily basis throughout our stay.

On our stay, we were welcomed by ‘Beauty’ she presented us with a lovely glass of port after our long trip. The room we stayed in was impeccable, to say the least with a balcony overlooking the ocean. We thoroughly enjoyed the daybeds which faced the fireplace and looked out into the night sky. We lay there with a glass of wine, mesmerised by the stars.

“A perfect romantic getaway”

Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa

The bathroom featured his and hers basins, a large bathtub, bath oils, bubble bath and bath salts and the shower overlooked the ocean. We felt like royalty throughout our entire stay. What stood out the most was the gracious staff, that presented exceptional work ethic and service delivery. World Luxury Hotel Awards highly recommends Plettenberg Park Hotel and Spa for a romantic South African getaway.

To find out more please visit: www.plettenbergpark.co.za

Guest – Melissa Hofmann

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The 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Award Statuette

As you may know, World Luxury Hotel Awards is celebrating its 10th year as the most prestigious and recognizable awards program in the luxury hospitality industry. We have decided to create something special to commemorate this milestone.

At the core of our industry lies a passion for hospitality service values. Luxury, exclusivity, prestige and accomplishment are values that spark our passion.

We have produced a limited edition of The Official World Luxury Hotel Awards Merit, which will be available to all winners of the 2016 awards season.

We wanted the Official Hotel Awards Merit to be the embodiment of our core values and as such, we have commissioned a SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION of the awards statuette.

Each statuette is handcrafted, using the same process used for fine art pieces.

The Official 10th Anniversary Limited Edition Statuettes are cast individually. Each statuette is cast bronze from its own original mold. Every statuette is checked and fettled to perfection and gets polished to a mirror finish before being plated in copper first, followed by a layer of nickel. It then receives a coat of 100% sterling silver and finally, each statuette is plated in 24ct GOLD!

Your Certificate of Achievement issued by World Luxury Hotel Awards in 2016 will have a unique merit certification code and that unique code will be etched into your statue, upon order, to correspond with the award issued.

This is a truly special piece that is available exclusively to 2016 participants and only a limited quantity has been manufactured.

Due to the fact that these statuettes are individually crafted by hand and the lengthy process involved in this production, quantities are limited. Make sure order this unique Limited Edition Award Statuette NOW to avoid disappointment.

 

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World Luxury Hotel Awards Launches Brand New Website

With 2016 heralding the 10th Anniversary of World Luxury Hotel Awards, exciting upgrades have been in development to further enhance how hotels and visitors interact.

If you haven’t heard the news yet, World Luxury Hotel Awards recently launched a brand new state-of-the-art website which includes many exciting features for participants and visitors alike.

The new site offers many new and intuitively integrated features, utilising the most advanced web design technologies available today, to enhance the way the best luxury hotels in the world, connect with travellers, patrons and each other.

Participating hotels will receive full access to their profiles through our new Profile Management Facility. Every nominated and registered participant will receive their unique profile, accessible on our website by logging in with a unique username and password. Once logged in, the hotel can upload and update photographs, indicate and update the facilities they offer, add extra information about particular services that they would like to emphasise, pin real-time social media feeds to their profile page and much more! Participants will also have access to a variety of downloadable marketing and support resources from our “Resource Centre”.

Each participant will be hosted on our website and will receive its own, beautifully designed profile page.

The page features large images that scroll behind the page as you browse, live social media feeds for that hotel, a visual representation of location using Google Maps, all the contact information for the hotel as well as a direct mailing facility for a visitor to make inquiries directly to the mailbox designated by the hotel. Each profile has a unique link that can be shared online and will take visitors straight to the profile of the participating hotel.

Visitors can vote for a hotel, directly from their profiles, from the home page or by clicking on a shared link.

Since the official launch of the new website on the 17th of June 2016, we have recorded 129% traffic growth from all over the globe from 64 016 sessions (17-May-2015 – 17-Jun-2015) to 146 929 sessions (17-Jun-2016 – 17-Jul-2016).

We have many features scheduled for launch in the next few weeks like live support, online store and secure payment gateway. If you would like to stay up to date with the latest announcements as well as updates to our ever improving program, please subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Stats 18 July 2016

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Experiencing the WTM Africa 2016

The World Luxury Hotel & Spa Awards team attended the highly successful WTM Africa earlier this year at the CTICC in Cape Town – not surprisingly one of the most loved cities in the world.


A perfect venue in which to facilitate a meeting and collaborative space for leaders and trend setters in our dynamic hospitality industry. We were impressed by the quality of the exhibition stands, and the level of excellence taken in representing their properties, spa’s and tourism related services. Although the show was created for the African segment of the market, a number of far reaching internationals were exhibiting, testament to the significance of a growing and energized trade culture.

A key highlight for our team included meeting the faces behind our participating hotels, lodges and spa’s which offered a great opportunity in solidifying important business to business relationships.

Naturally, we connected and networked with many new establishments and provided insight into the specialized hospitality awards market. We also gained incredible knowledge from attending many of the live conference events which saw global industry leaders sharing their expertise and travel forecasts. The WTM Africa travel and tourism event has entrenched itself as the leading global marketplace for businesses across the industry. It is an optimal opportunity to engage in value-driven conversations in a diverse range of South African, Sub-Saharan African and Internationally represented hospitality entities. Stay current with industry best practices, exchange ideas, and collaborate with travel professionals at this annual event. We look forward to attending in 2017, and hope to meet you there!

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The St Regis Doha, Qatar, To Host 10th Anniversary Hotel Awards

World Luxury Hotel Awards is honoured to announce that the 2016 World Luxury Hotel Awards Gala Ceremony will be hosted by The St Regis Doha in Qatar –

on Saturday, 29 October 2016


The 10th Anniversary of the World Luxury Hotel Awards and this year’s annual gala ceremony will be a celebration of legendary proportion. The World Luxury Hotel Awards event will offer hoteliers the unique opportunity to savour and celebrate their achievements of the past year with their industry peers.

Astor Room - King Size Bed

The World Luxury Hotel Awards is a recognized global organization providing luxury hotels with recognition for their world-class facilities and service excellence provided to guests. Awards are presented to luxury hotels in over 50 different categories on a country, regional and global basis. Public vote selects allwinners, reflecting real recognition for the hard work and dedication of hotel staff and hotel standards. Centrally located for all international travellers and set in Middle Eastern mystique, The St. Regis Doha presents interiors styled in modern opulence overlooking the Arabian Gulf’s tranquil blue sea. All around are the towering sand dunes and ancient architecture that make up the picturesque landscape of the region. Continuing a century-old tradition, all guests who stay at the hotel will be provided with their own butler for the duration of their stay, ensuring the highest levels of bespoke service. The St. Regis Doha features 336 rooms including 70 suites – all offering soothing views of the Arabian Gulf. The hotel features ten restaurants and bars, 4,000-square- meters of meeting space and extensive recreational facilities including Remède Spa, an Olympic swimming pool and beachfront cabanas with private Jacuzzis.

Continue reading The St Regis Doha, Qatar, To Host 10th Anniversary Hotel Awards